Harriet Jones

Reporter/Editor

Harriet Jones reports on all aspects of the business world for WNPR. She's covered such diverse issues as the threat to close Connecticut's submarine base, the sub prime mortgage crisis and the impact of casinos on the state.

In 2011, she created WNPR's Small Business Project as a way to tell stories about the companies that make up 90 percent of our economy, but often get overlooked in the media.

She is the winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her reporting on Connecticut's 2010 floods.

Harriet joined WNPR in October 2000 as Morning Edition producer and reporter. Born in Scotland, she worked for the BBC for much of her early career.

She was news director at Scotland's largest commercial radio station, ScotFM, and was lucky enough to cover that country's two biggest political events in 300 years - the referendum which delivered a new parliament, and the subsequent elections.

She has also taught broadcasting for the BBC at some of their international schools in Eastern Europe, delivering courses to journalists in Romania, Albania and Bosnia.

Harriet lives in Stonington with her husband, Bob Statchen, and their three children.

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Alcohol Sales
9:31 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Blue Law Changes Feared, Welcomed

Harriet Jones

In the past, attempts to reform Connecticut’s blue laws have been dominated by one simple issue – Sunday alcohol sales. But the bill before the legislature this year takes the debate much further. And it has the package store industry in uproar. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Here at the Legislative Office Building with the session in full swing, many of the conversations are about one thing.

“This has been such a significant issue in the building.”

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Proposed Bills
9:25 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Minimum Wage Proposal Provokes Controversy

The legislature’s labor committee will hear testimony this week on a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage. After last year’s successful passage of paid sick leave there are indications it may be a tough political battle. Many businesses also say it’s too soon in a weak economic recovery to further raise their costs. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

House Speaker Chris Donovan, introducing his legislation to raise the minimum wage, invoked some high profile bi-partisan support.

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Retail
12:07 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Award Winning Retailer Closes Doors

Harriet Jones

  We’re told the economic recovery is gaining pace, but some businesses are still finding it hard to keep their footing in this changed economic landscape. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on one high profile business failure in Connecticut this week.

The tills are ringing briskly at North Cove Outfitters in Old Saybrook, but that’s because bargains are flying off the shelves in a liquidation sale. Regular customer Mike Campbell summed up the mood.

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Jobs
10:47 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Grote & Weigel Will Remain In Business

Harriet Jones

The Grote & Weigel meat processing company has been saved from closure and 40 people will retain their jobs at the Bloomfield institution. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Education and the Workforce
4:01 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

STEM Series: Employers Promote STEM Learning

Harriet Jones

Connecticut’s students are falling behind in science, technology, engineering and math. All this week WNPR is examining this problem, and its implications for our 21st century workforce. Today, Harriet Jones reports on efforts by employers to address the lack of STEM skills. 

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Books
7:15 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Iconic Madison Bookstore For Sale

Harriet Jones

News this week that the book world will soon mark the end of an era. Roxanne Coady, doyenne of independent booksellers, is putting up the “for sale” sign on her creation, RJ Julia. The store has been a fixture in Madison for more than 20 years. WNPR’s Harriet Jones went to visit.

You only need walk in the front door at RJ Julia to know this is Roxanne Coady’s mission. Coady left a lucrative corporate career when she was turning 40 to begin this personal passion. Now 22 years later, she says it’s time to move on again.

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State Budget
11:41 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Business Leaders Call For Fiscal Restraint In Legislative Session

The General Assembly reconvenes later this week for a session that looks to be jam-packed with issues. The state’s largest business organization says lawmakers will have a difficult balancing act. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Entrepreneurs
11:30 am
Mon February 6, 2012

Stamford Innovation Center Opens For Business

Harriet Jones

The City of Stamford hopes to attract high-tech entrepreneurs with a new initiative to convert its Old Town Hall into a business incubator. 

Stamford’s gracious, marble-lined Old Town Hall occupies some prime real estate in the center of town, but it hasn’t served as a hub for the town since the 1960s. Now it’s bustling once again.

“It’s a center of gravity and it works for the whole community.”

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Meat Processing
9:26 am
Wed February 1, 2012

No Relish In Historic Company Closure

Harriet Jones

The owner of Grote & Weigel says he’s still hopeful of finding a buyer for the troubled meat processing company. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones, the historic Bloomfield firm is due to shut its doors in less than two weeks.

The smokehouses at Grote & Weigel’s Bloomfield headquarters are still running, for now.

“We’re reaching a point where we’re running out of meat now and we’re running out of casings and all the other supplies we need to make the hotdogs.”

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Manufacturing
12:41 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Businesses Fall Behind On Disaster Planning

The end of January is gut-check time for anyone who’s made New Year’s resolutions. Many experts say top of the resolution list for small businesses should be a disaster recovery plan. After all, the incredible list of weather emergencies in Connecticut last year drove many businesses to the brink. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Jobs Bill
11:39 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Dems Seek To Expand Access To Jobs Bill

Harriet Jones

Connecticut Senate Democrats say they want to tweak the jobs bill that passed in last fall’s special session, in order to make it more effective for businesses. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Senate leaders chose the shopfloor of a successful Connecticut manufacturing business to make this announcement, Adchem Manufacturing Technologies in Manchester. Senate President Don Williams.

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Government
9:16 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Open Innovation For Government

Harriet Jones

A Connecticut company is partnering with NASA and Harvard University in an initiative that it hopes will bring a whole new level of efficiency to the federal government. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Topcoder, based in Glastonbury, was founded just ten years ago, but in that decade it’s become something of  a touchstone in the tech community.

“The idea that nobody is as smart as everybody is catching on now.”

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Connecticut Loans
2:31 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Express Package Gets On The Road

Harriet Jones

The state of Connecticut has made its first loan under the small business express package. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, it comes just days after questions were raised about the program’s paperwork problems.

Scott DeFelice CEO of Oxford Performance Materials shows Governor Dannel Malloy the new equipment his company has invested in since moving into this new South Windsor facility in August.  Malloy is here because Oxford is the first company to get a loan under the state’s small business express package.

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Veterans
2:42 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Connecticut Businesses Mull Hiring Jobless Vets

Unemployed veterans hope new tax credit initiatives at the state and federal levels will help them find jobs. Some Connecticut businesses say they’re just waking up to the opportunity.

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Starting Your Own Business
9:40 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Older Entrepreneurs More Numerous, Successful

Harriet Jones

If you want to start your own business, your age may be a critical factor in your success. But not in the way you might imagine. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Picture an entrepreneur. Are you thinking of a young, intense 20-something, up all night writing computer code? The reality, more often than not, is at the other end of the age spectrum.

“This is my place of business, which is two filing cabinets and a used laptop and a used monitor. Starting a new business you’ve really got to improvise.”

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Small Business, Big Struggles
9:50 am
Wed January 4, 2012

The Small Business Year In Review

Courtesy: Eugene Montano

2011 was a challenging year if you were running a small business. WNPR’s Harriet Jones has been speaking with small business owners in Connecticut about the year just past, and looking ahead into 2012.

2011 was supposed to be the year the economic recovery really picked up steam. For small business owners, it depends where you were standing.

“It’s been the toughest year, definitely been the toughest year.”

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Cloud Computing
11:02 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Is 2012 Your Year In The Cloud?

For many companies, cloud computing is still kind of a fuzzy concept. But the IT professionals tell us that 2012 is the year it will come into sharp focus. Many businesses will spend this year figuring out how the cloud make sense for them, and how to integrate it into their IT strategies. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Economic Development
11:39 am
Fri December 30, 2011

The Economic Year Ahead

2011 may be remembered as the year that disappointed many of our economic hopes. The recovery was supposed to pick up steam and give us significant job growth, but that wasn’t the way it played out. WNPR’s Harriet Jones has been talking to a panel of economists about the year that’s just ending and looking ahead into 2012.

Certainty was hard to come by in 2011, but Alissa DeJonge, chief economist for the Connecticut Economic Resource Center says at least this much definitively.

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'Tis the Season
9:52 am
Fri December 23, 2011

O Christmas Tree - Locally Grown, Of Course!

Harriet Jones

December’s a pretty intense month for many people – but imagine if you were a Christmas tree farmer.  As this busy season comes to a close, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited Staehly’s Tree Farm in East Haddam to find out what kind of a year this has been for the state’s tree growers.

“Hi there… how are you….”

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Economic Development
9:28 am
Mon December 5, 2011

What Price Local Jobs?

Harriet Jones

Connecticut has been obsessed this year with questions about economic development. How much public money should be spent to help private businesses create jobs?  Which investments make the most sense with limited resources?  Many towns are dealing with these questions on the local level. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on a successful entrepreneur in Groton – who needs help from the town to create more jobs.

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Small Businesses
1:26 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Businesses Continue To Feel Storm Chill

Connecticut’s small businesses may not yet have seen the full impact of the state’s two disastrous storms. That was testimony given to the Governor’s Two Storm Panel, which heard Wednesday from business owners and representatives. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Farm Policy
11:19 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Farm Bill Failure Means Uncertainty For CT Producers

Harriet Jones

The failure last week of the super committee on debt reduction has implications in many different walks of life. Connecticut’s small farms are among those who have been left in limbo. That’s because a new, and significantly different version of the Farm Bill was to have been attached to the super committee’s proceedings. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Farm policy in the US has for decades revolved around huge agribusinesses

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Small Business Saturday
12:57 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Small Business Saturday Hopes For Big Gains

Harriet Jones

Black Friday is an established Holiday tradition, as we work off the turkey with a visit to the mall. But small, local retailers often get left out of the spending spree. The relatively new concept of Small Business Saturday is an attempt to put that right. WNPR’s Harriet Jones has the story.

Charge card giant American Express began the Small Business Saturday campaign in 2010. One year on, the concept has expanded.

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Defense Industry
10:41 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Panetta Pledges Support For Defense Contractors

Harriet Jones

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says he’s committed to retaining critical skills in the defense industry, but he says disastrous cuts could result from a failure of deficit reduction talks. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, Panetta spoke to employees at Groton shipyard Electric Boat.

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Small Businesses
11:39 pm
Thu November 10, 2011

Businesses Turned Away By Insurance After Power Loss

Chion Wolf

Thousands of small businesses around the state were closed down for days by the recent power outage. Now that the lights are back on, many are working on insurance claims to recoup their losses. But as WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports some are in for a nasty surprise.

This is A Little Something, a small independent bakery in West Hartford’s Park Street. Owner Beth Bolton says the power was out here for five days.

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Northeast Utilities
10:04 am
Thu November 10, 2011

Northeast Utilities Establishes Outage Compensation Fund

The parent company of Connecticut Light & Power says it will establish a ten million dollar fund to compensate residential customers who lost money as a result of the recent power outages. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Trees
11:22 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Connecticut and Trees: Is the Love Affair Over?

Harriet Jones

Most storm clouds have a silver lining, and the freak October snowfall was no exception. Connecticut’s tree companies have work ahead of them for many, many months. 

In Vernon, Sue Peterson is surveying the scene of devastation in her front yard.

“It was huge Norway maple. Huge, huge tree.”

She was in the dark after her power failed on the Saturday night of the storm.

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Environment
12:41 pm
Fri November 4, 2011

Tree Expo In The Midst Of "Arbor-geddon"

Harriet Jones

The foremost experts in the tree care industry have gathered in Hartford this week, just as the state’s power system is devastated by snow damage to trees. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Just as chain saws are being fired up and tree crews are working round the clock across Connecticut, delegates from all over the country flocked to Hartford Thursday for the annual Tree Care Industry Association conference. Mark Garvin is President of the Association. He says attendance is down this year.

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Shoreline Hotels
2:40 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

Southeast Hotels Welcome Storm Refugees

Harriet Jones

For many people struggling without power, the answer has been to find a hotel room and hunker down. That’s meant a rush for the shoreline hotels and guest houses in Southeastern Connecticut, which was unscathed in the storm. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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Exporting
12:49 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

One Year To Go Global

Exporting is increasingly important to Connecticut’s economy. The state has a core of companies large and small that have led the charge into international markets, but there’s potential for many more to follow. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports on a new initiative to help small businesses take their first steps overseas.

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